Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Oppose the Use of Chemical Restraints to Care for Dementia Patients

new jersey , philadelphia, nursing home abuse lawyers, attorneysAThe use of chemical restraints is, unfortunately, nothing new. Nursing home abuse lawyers have long known that medication is often used to sedate and restrain residents. ABC News online recently published an article on the detrimental effects of a certain prescription often given to Dementia patients in nursing homes. Most of the time, these prescriptions are dispersed not only to sedate patients so they become more “manageable,” but also to help the nursing home make money from the Medicaid reimbursements they receive for ordering the medication.

Medication Causes Increased Death Risk in Dementia Patients

study of over 75,000 nursing home residents – 65 and older, who suffer from dementia – has found that those that take the anti-psychotic drug Haldol double their risk of death compared to those taking Risperdal. It seems that the risk was highest during the first 40 days of treatment. Krsita Huybrechts, epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, commented on the recent findings:

“The evidence provided in our study reinforces the important risks associated with the use of these drugs and underscores the need to try alternative means of dealing with behavioral problems in older patients with dementia. [The use of Haldol] cannot be justified because of the excess of harm. ”

Conversely, patients taking Seroquel appeared, according to the study, to have a decreased risk of death compared to those taking Risperdal. However, the use of any of the medications seems unneccessary, seeing as their effect on dementia symptoms is quite limited; so much so that the FDA never even approved many of these drugs for use in the treatment of dementia. Nursing homes are being reimbursed by Medicaid for the off-label distribution on anti-psychotics, or chemical restraints.

Dr. Jenny McCleery, consultant psychiatrist with the Oxford Heath NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K., believes that doctors are prescribing these antipsychotic drugs due to a lack of resources for non-drug interventions.

“Clearly, doctors find compelling reasons to prescribe antipsychotics to patients with dementia, reasons that are unlikely to be found in the evidence base alone.”

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Nursing home residents suffering from dementia are indeed a difficult population to care for. That does not, however, condone the use of drugs to sedate patients so they become easier to care for. Nursing homes should provide competent, compassionate, and attentive care to your loved ones living in long term care facilities.

If you believe that the home in charge of your loved one’s care is acting negligently or abusively, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers of Messa & Associates, P.C. Call 1-800-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry. You may also click on the CHAT LIVE icon to the right to speak with a representative immediately.

Bed Sore Lawyers Know The Causes of Pressure Sores

Pressure which prevents adequate blood from reaching the skin and the tissues beneath may cause bedsores. There are many factors that may lead to pressure sores and people should be on the look out in order to prevent problems before they become serious. Bed sore lawyers believe that three primary factors contribute to bedsores:

  • Sustained pressure
  • Friction
  • Shear

Sustained Pressure, Friction, and Shear are the 3 Primary Contributors to Bedsores

new jersey philadelphia lawyers Bedsore causes pressure soresSustained pressure occurs when the skin and tissue are compacted between the bone and an outer surface. Surfaces such as beds and wheel chairs are the most common. The pressure may over power the blood, flowing through the capillaries, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching the skin tissues. Bedsore attorneys believe that regions of the body that are not protected by fat or muscle tend to be at the greatest risk of bedsores caused by sustained pressure.

Friction generally occurs when the skin makes contact with an outside surface through different movements. People changing positions or being moved by care providers may experience friction causing the skin to resist the particular movement. Through friction, skin will become more fragile and susceptible to further injury.

The action of two surfaces moving in opposite directions is known as shear. Shear will cause tissue and blood vessel damage. This type of damage could leave people vulnerable to bedsores. A common example of shear is when a person slides downward in a hospital bed. The tailbone will move downward while the skin over the bone remains in place. This sensation of pulling in opposite directions could leave people vulnerable to bedsores.

Bed Sore Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one has acquired a bed sore while in a nursing home, or has had negligent treatment of a bed sore or pressure ulcer, immediately seek further medical attention. Our professionals are dedicated to holding nursing homes responsible. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Nursing Home Neglect Can Lead to Bed Sores

Nursing home neglect is a huge cause for the development of bed sores and pressure ulcers. Nursing homes and long term patient care centers are responsible for giving good and professional care to their patients. Often, when a nursing home has a record of neglect or abuse, you will find patients that have acquired painful and often dangerous bed sores. It is important for a patient’s loved ones to know the symptoms and signs of bed sores and pressure ulcers so that they can immediately take action when stage one bed sores start to form.
When it comes to bed sores, prevention is the best medicine, but if prevention isn’t happening due to abuse or neglect on the part of the nursing home, a loved one needs to be ready to step in and take action. The best thing you can do to protect your loved one is to become familiar with the bedsore symptoms and stages so immediate help can be given.

Symptoms of Bed Sores and Pressure Ulcers

new jersey philadelphia bedsores pressure sores lawyers nursing home neglectBed sores are categorized into 4 stages. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has defined the four stages. If these stages aren’t treated, they will continue to worsen.

Stage I
Stage I bed sores are characterized by a slight may change color in the area affected. The skin is intact, but the site may also painful, firm, soft, warmer or cooler compared with the surrounding skin.

Stage II
Stage II bed sores are an open wound. The pressure ulcer may appear as a shallow wound, or it may appear as an intact or ruptured fluid blister.

Stage III
Stage III bed sores are now a deep wound. The ulcer will have a crater like appearance, the bottom of the wound my have yellowish dead tissue, and the damage may now extend beyond the primary wound.

Stage IV
Stage IV pressure ulcers show a large scale loss of tissue. The wound may now expose muscle, bone and tendons. The bottom of the wound usually contains crusty dead tissue, and the damage extends beyond the primary wound below layers of healthy skin.

Careful Skin Inspection Should be Part of Routine Nursing Home Care

It is very important that nursing homes carfully inspect the skin of all nursing home patients that are confined to a bed or wheelchair for a long period of time . Not properly inspecting these patients is a true sign of nursing home neglect. If you recognize any of these warning signs, a doctor should be contacted immediately. Bed sores are very painful, and they are also very dangerous, as they can lead to life threatening infections. Early detection of a bed sore can be the difference between life and death.

Bedsores are a Sure Sign of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

If your loved one has acquired a bed sore while in a nursing home, or has had negligent treatment of a bed sore or pressure ulcer, immediately seek further medical attention. Our lawyers are dedicated to holding nursing homes responsible. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Reveal Poor Care at Holiday Care Center

Because we are attorneys that represent many clients in nursing home abuse cases in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we continue to investigate and post on nursing homes that have been given below average ratings on a report card published on the Medicare website. This is the official US Government website for Medicare, and as such, they compare nursing homes all across the United States. Based on their own specific criteria, they rate each nursing home with one to five stars. Those with 5 stars are considered to be well above average, and those with 1 star (the minimum rating you can receive) are considered to be well below average, with all others falling somewhere in between. The nursing home we will post on today has been given a one star rating. It is located in Ocean County, New Jersey. It is a corporately owned for profit nursing home with 180 long term patient beds.

The Holiday Care Center Fails to Impress

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers expose holiday care centerThe Holiday Care Center located in Toms River, New Jersey. This nursing home was inspected routinely on 9 occasions and cited for 40 deficiencies during the period from December 2008 through November 2010. It was also necessary for the NJ Division of Health Facilities and Evaluation and Licensing to conduct 10 complaint inspections with 5 more deficiencies cited during this time period. Some of these citations were for failing to keep the rate of medication errors (wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong time) to less than 5%, for failing to have a program to keep infection from spreading, and failing to make sure that a residents nutritional needs are being met. These types and amount of deficiencies are those that lead to nursing home abuse. Patients’ families must remain vigilant when their loved one is in a for profit nursing home such as Holiday Care Center, to make sure that they are being cared for in an acceptable and effective manner.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is a resident in a nursing home or long term care facility, and you believe the care they are receiving is negligent or abusive, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the nursing home abuse attorneys at the Mininno Law Office earn you the full and fair compensation that you need and deserve.

Was a DePuy Sales Rep Watching You Sleep?

If you have been following our series of DePuy hip recall posts, we hope they have been informative, interesting, and educational. Our previous DePuy hip recall posts have provided information about the actual implant that has been recalled, about signs and symptoms that patients can expect if their implant is fails; and about the bad faith settlement practices of Johnson & Johnson and DePuy claims adjusters. However, this particular post is unique because today we discuss a topic that most DePuy hip recall patients have never considered. Was a DePuy sales representative watching you while you had your implant surgery performed?

Sales Reps Guiding Surgeons Through Procedures

new jersey philadelphia depuy hip recall lawyers shocking sales repRecently, the prestigious Washington Post reported on a fairly widespread yet rarely discussed practice of medical device sales representatives to lurk in operating rooms, without patient knowledge or approval, and guide surgeons in the surgical procedure. According to the Washington Post, this practice of sales rep “assistance” is common among medical device companies including Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Zimmer, and DePuy.

Unfortunately for most DePuy hip replacement patients, there really is no way to learn whether or not one of DePuy’s sales reps was actually in the operating room. Why? Because most current hospital policies do not require a sales rep to be identified in the patient’s medical chart. They also don’t require consent from the patient, and have not prohibited photography. There have been reports that sales reps have taken pictures of their company’s implant as its being implanted into the patient! These photographs are taken without first advising the patient that a sales representative will even be present.

Imagine that! A DePuy sales representative is allowed to walk into a sterile operating room and observe a patient having surgery, and the patient would never be the wiser.

Frankly, this widespread practice is kind of creepy. As New Jersey and Philadelphia DePuy hip recall lawyers, we urge that legislation be drafted which specifically requires that any medical sales representative obtain permission from a patient before they attend their surgery. If a surgeon is not comfortable performing a hip implant surgery without having a sales representative present, perhaps that surgeon should not perform the surgery in the first place.

DePuy Hip Recall Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you are the recipient of a DePuy hip replacement and are experiencing increasing pain and reduced functionality, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

DePuy owes you compensation for pain, suffering, and monies paid for any additional treatments associated with the correction of your hip replacement. Make sure you get the help of an attorney in earning this compensation.

Be Aware: What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Negligence?

As nursing home abuse lawyers, it is important that we educate people about what is considered nursing home abuse. We have discussed forms of physical abuse and the signs that a nursing home patient may be a victim of such abuse. However, nursing home patient abuse can take many forms. Negligence is a very common detriment to care quality in nursing homes, and definately a form of nursing home abuse.

Nursing Home Negligence IS Nursing Home Abuse

Neglect is defined as:

–verb (used with object)
1. to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard or slight
2. to be remiss in the care or treatment of
3. to omit, through indifference or carelessness
4. to fail to carry out or perform (orders, duties, etc

The above definitions accurately describe the kind of negligence that we are talking about; negligence that results in illness, injuries, bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, isolation, fear, and an all around poor quality of life. Certain standards must be met regarding nutrition, hydration, medication, shelter, hygiene, personal safety, and comfort. When nursing home staff members do not fulfill these obligations to their residents, they are indeed committing a form of nursing home abuse.

Signs of Negligent Care

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers aware signs negligenceAs a family member of a nursing home resident, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of nursing home neglect and abuse. Keep a close watch not only on your loved one, but on the facility in it’s entirety, for the following signs of neglect:

  • Unsanitary or hazardous conditions that go without repair (i.e. bed bug or flea infestations, lack of heat, broken railings, doors, or equipment)
  • Bed sores
  • Soiled bedding that is not immediately changed
  • Signs of Malnutrition – anemia, unexplained weight loss, dry scaly skin, confusion or irritability
  • Slow reaction time from nursing staff
  • Little to no interaction between resident and staff
  • Constant sedation

As always, it is imperative to listen to your loved one’s comments and complaints, and follow up with a proper investigation. Neglect can do serious harm to a person already suffering from a debilitating condition.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long-term care facility and you believe they may be victims of abuse or neglect, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia. The nursing home abuse lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to the fight against nursing home abuse, and to earning victimized patients and families their due compensation.

President Obama Mentions Tort Reform in his State of the Union Address

Last night, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama tenderly glossed over a subject that has been a source for much debate over the last few years; medical malpractice reform. The President stated that he was:

“willing to look at other ideas to bring down [health care] costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”

Tort Reform Hurts Consumers

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers president obama tort reformAs medical malpractice lawyers, we find that those who accuse medical malpractice claims of being frivolous do not understand the extent of the damage done to people’s lives when negligent doctors make irreversible mistakes. Tort reform would only serve to harm those who are already victims of their health system, and reduce liability for those companies that, by merit of their missions, should be working for their consumers, not against them.

Medical providers and manufacturers have great responsibilities to those that lend them their trust. Patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and surgeons. Consumers put their lives in the hands of manufacturers. Limiting the liability that these figures would be responsible for would only assist in diminishing the importance of those responsibilities. Many states in the US have already begun putting in place their own tort reform legislation; reform that includes caps on damages. For a family of five in Texas with a working mother that died due to a cancer misdiagnosis, a medical malpractice lawsuit could reap no more than $250,000. This amount of money would hardly cover medical bills, let alone take care of the remaining family members in the absence of their mother’s income.

Allegations that the tort system costs the health care industry billions of dollars a year are constantly debunked. Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policies and research, estimated that less than 2.5% of all healthcare costs can be attributed to medical malpractice litigation. And while tort reformists argue about “frivolous lawsuits,” they never seem to mention the “frivolous defenses.” Medical providers who have made irrevocable mistakes, instead of taking responsibility and compensating accordingly, mount “frivolous defenses,” paying high priced lawyers and medical “experts” to argue that the medicine they practiced was on par with the standard of care.

While most doctors strive to heal, there are those that strive only to gain money and power. These doctors will cut corners and practice negligent medicine, and it’s these doctors that must be held liable. How can we protect patients and consumers when we are restricting punishment and restitution for their harms?

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

So often, the media taints it’s picture of medical malpractice attorneys and their fight against medical negligence. It is a widespread belief that these “ambulance chasers” want nothing more than money, and they’ll get it any way they can. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they work for free unless they win. And they work on the side of justice, hoping to earn compensation for those who have been seriously injured and affected by negligence.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical malpractice, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the Mininno Law Office team work to earn you the compensation you need and deserve.

Bedsore Prevention Tip #13: Educational Programs

As nursing home abuse attorneys, we have found that one of the most effective ways to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect is to be properly educated in the needs and care of your loved one. Each and every nursing home patient has unique needs which calls for the implementation of unique care plans. Nursing home patients that are susceptible to bed sores and pressure ulcers are in particular need of staff awareness and education. As we always state, “Prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to preventing nursing home abuse and neglect, such as bed sores and pressure ulcers.”

Tip #13: The Importance of Educational Programs for Staff and Families

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys educational programs prevent bedsoresOne way to prevent bed sores from forming is to have a staff that is properly educated. Educational programs about bed sore and pressure ulcer prevention should be made mandatory for all levels of health care providers. They should also be made available for patient families so that they can make sure nursing home staff members are giving their loved ones the care they need and deserve. Patients who have the appropriate mental capacity should also be given instructions so that they can be advocates for their own proper care.

The important information that we have posted on previously, such as proper nutrition, hydration, and the need for repositioning, should be taught, along with particularized patient needs. Many of the nursing home patients’ particular needs in terms of bed sore prevention can be discovered by a proper risk assessment. This risk assessment can then be used as a tool for re-evaluation on a periodic basis to ensure that the nursing home patient is not being neglected, and that all of their needs to prevent the contraction of bed sores and pressure ulcers are met. This proper staff and caregiver education can make the difference in whether a bed sore does or does not occur!

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Your loved ones deserve, just as anyone else does, proper care when placed in a nursing home or long term care facility. Families like yours pay top dollar for a medical staff to effectively and safely treat the family members that they can no longer care for themselves. It is unacceptable for a nursing home to allow it’s residents to suffer from bed sores or other dangerous conditions.

If your loved one is receiving sub-standard, negligent, or abusive care at a nursing home, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadlephia.

The team at the Mininno Law Office will work hard to earn you the compensation you need and deserve.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Provide Tip#10 for Bed Sore Prevention

As nursing home abuse attorneys, we have been posting a series of tips to help the prevention of nursing home abuse and bed sores. Our last few posts concerned the nursing home patient’s need for proper nutrition and hydration, as well as the importance of repositioning. Today’s bed sore tip once again deals with proper positioning of the nursing home patient to prevent a painful and often deadly bed sore. As we have indicated in the past, “Prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to preventing bed sores and pressure ulcers in nursing homes.”

Tip #10: Proper Pressure Redistribution

The 9th tip for the prevention and treatment of bed sores involves making sure that the patient is using the proper materials and mattresses for proper pressure-redistribution. Long term care residents should be using pressure-redistribution mattresses and chair cushion surfaces. new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers proper pressure redistributionThese surfaces typically have layers that help provide optimal immersion and comfort for the nursing home patient. These surfaces are designed to have independent zones to provide the correct pressure for each weight range. These surfaces are designed, in fact, to help aid in both the prevention and the treatment of bed sores and pressure ulcers. Redistribution of surface pressue is very important as the pressure causes the small blood vessels in the skin to collapse, which deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients, causing them to die. Nursing homes should avoid using donut-type devices and most sheepskin products for pressure redistribution. Staff members should be aware of the need for proper surfaces. Not using the proper surface for patients is tantamount to nursing home abuse. The use of the proper pressure-redistributing surfaces along with proper repositioning may be two of the most important bed sore prevention tips that all families should be aware of and vigilant to for the well being of their loved ones.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved is a resident at a nursing home, and you believe that the treatment they are receiving is below standard, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. We are skilled in earning compensation for families whose loved ones have been mistreated by nursing homes or long term care facilities. You may also call for free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Will A New DePuy Hip Implant Replace My Defective DePuy Implant?

new jersey philadelphia depuy hip recall lawyers second opinion hip implantAs a New Jersey and Philadelphia DePuy hip recall lawyer, I have been posting on various DePuy hip recall topics and trying to answer questions that patients and victims may have about the recall. One question that many DePuy hip recall patients have is, “What type of hip implant should be used to replace the defective DePuy hip implant?”

Naturally, many victims do not want another DePuy hip implant. You know the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” As a New Jersey and Philadelphia DePuy hip recall lawyer, I am strongly encouraging DePuy hip recall patients to ask their surgeons for implant options other than the DePuy hip implants. Only your doctor can tell you which hip implant is best for you, but if a doctor tries to push for a DePuy replacement, I urge you to get a second, independent medical opinion.

Why Seek A Second Opinion?

There are some reports that surgeons have a financial affiliation with DePuy and therefore would likely favor a DePuy hip implant over other hip implant manufacturers. DePuy hip replacement patients should be concerned about any potential conflict of interest between a surgeon and DePuy.

Patients: Speak up!

Be your own advocate. All DePuy hip recall patients should specifically ask his or her surgeon whether or not they have any financial relationship or connection to DePuy Orthopaedics or Johnson & Johnson. And remember; no matter what the surgeon recommends, you always have the final say as to what type of hip implant will be used to replace your defective DePuy hip implant.

DePuy Hip Recall Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you or a loved one have received a defective DePuy hip implant from a recent hip replacement surgery, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. The DePuy hip recall lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are capable of earning you full and fair compensation, as opposed to what DePuy will offer should you not contact an attorney. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the Mininno Law Office team fight for your rights to compensation.